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Old 02-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default To much head space

I just got a 16.5 gal. Fermenter I just finished a 11 gal.apa I have some concerns about 5.5 gal head space. Can anybody tell me if I leave my beer in there for the full three weeks will I have a problem. Or should I transfer to my kegs after my fg is reached

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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You want to limit head space to prevent contamination from airborne nasties. Eventually, the fermentation creates enough CO2 that it creates a barrier and all is good. Your 2 solutions would be:

  1. Switch to the smaller fermenter so the head space fills up with CO2 faster.
  2. Pump CO2 into the fermenter to fill the head space, then cap with an airlock.

Otherwise, your finished product could have some off-flavors. IMHO, very rarely is a beer "undrinkable". It's just a lesson learned every time you open one! )
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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You should be fine as long as you leave it sealed up. There will be plenty of CO2 developed to purge that amount of space during primary fermentation, but would be an oxidation risk if you open for checking gravity etc. For an ale, 3 weeks should be plenty of time to hit FG and then some, but If I'm not going to secondary, I'll leave even longer (4wks is my typical go to...).

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Well I just put a 11 gal.batch in my 16.5 gal. Bucket It is a wheat beer with a sg. 1.050 I need to leave it in there for 3 weeks because my secondary's are full.can anybody tell me if this will be ok or do I need to buy a couple more secondary.

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITbrewer229 View Post
You want to limit head space to prevent contamination from airborne nasties. Eventually, the fermentation creates enough CO2 that it creates a barrier and all is good. Your 2 solutions would be:
  1. Switch to the smaller fermenter so the head space fills up with CO2 faster.
  2. Pump CO2 into the fermenter to fill the head space, then cap with an airlock.

Otherwise, your finished product could have some off-flavors. IMHO, very rarely is a beer "undrinkable". It's just a lesson learned every time you open one! )
I disagree with this. The beer will be fine. Initially the yeast needs oxygen to ferment. CO2 is heavier than oxygen, and once fermentation begins the oxygen will be quickly pushed out.

I have brewed countless 5 gallon batches in my 14.5 gallon fermenter and I have never had off flavors. It is no different than the batches I have brewed in the 6 gallon carboy.

The beer will be fine.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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.4 lbs of sugar in 5 gallons of beer will generate 12.5 gallons of CO2. The sugar amounts to 18 gravity points and increases the beer gravity by 3.6 ppg. A 1.048 OG and 1.012 FG beer will produce 125 gallons of CO2. The pressure of the fermenter is kept at about 14.6 psi. The fermenter will not be able to contain all of that CO2. You could have a much larger headspace and be safe.

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Headspace in the primary for a typical ale is NOT an issue. In over 100 brews with 1-3 gallons of headspace on average, and I have never had an issue.

Headspace in the secondary should be avoided and minimized at all costs. I spoiled one beer this way with only 1 gallon of headspace.

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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I want thank everybody for all the help.

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Default To much water

Just brewed a fat tire clone the grain bill called for 20.50 lbs.pro mash said I needed a total of 15.50 gals. Of total water I did a 60min. Boil when it was all done I ended up up with 12.50 gals. Of wort for a 10 gal.batch. I just built a new mashtun and boil kettle.and changed the water I have been using. I average 70 percent efficacy on this I got 84 percent. And numbers ended up close. Can anybody figure out why this happened

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